By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
Bahamian pro boxer Tureano Johnson is expected to step back into the ring for the first time in just over 15 months.
Johnson (20-2, 14 KOs) is set to face David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) of Canada on Saturday, December 15, at Madison Square Garden in New York City in a 12-round middleweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management.
The co-main event is slated to take place on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez and Rocky Fielding bout for the World Boxing Association Super Middleweight title, broadcasted live on DAZN.
Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) is coming off a career-defining win over IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KO) last September in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both Johnson, 34, and Lemieux, 29, look to reclaim positions in the spotlight as contenders. “This current fight is a great opportunity for me to prove that I am able to fight the best and I deserve to be a world champion. David is an incredible opponent with a very elaborate record that speaks for itself,” said Johnson.
“He’s a very strong puncher, but I have learned some new techniques that will give me the upper hand.”
In his last appearance, Johnson was stopped in the 12th and final round by then unbeaten Serhiy Derevianchenko of Ukraine in their IBF middleweight eliminator in August 2017 at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.
His only other loss was a controversial decision to Curtis Stevens. Both losses occurred in the final round.
Following a loss to Billy Joe Saunders last December, Lemieux scored wins over Karim Achour and Gary O’Sullivan.
“I’m extremely ready and looking forward to my next fight against [Tureano] Johnson,” Lemieux said in a press release. “I didn’t take a break since my last fight because I thought that I would be facing Canelo. Training camp has been great. Johnson is a solid opponent. I’m ready for an explosive performance and a great victory to end the year in a great way.”
Johnson was preparing to re-enter the ring last month against Curtis Pearson, however both sides could not finalise an agreement.
Johnson was originally intended to face Golovkin while a contender for the IBF middleweight title in 2015 but the fight never took place for a myriad of reasons.
For the second time within the past three-year span, Johnson will re-enter the ring following a prolonged hiatus.
Prior to the Derevianchenko fight, Johnson returned to the ring in May 2017 after being sidelined for nearly a year and-a-half with a second round knockout over Fabiano Soares. It was Johnson’s first fight under Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions stable since making the switch in September 2015, a move that was expected to send him on the fast track to an eventual title shot and prominence in the division.
He injured his shoulder in a unanimous decision win over Irishman Eamonn O’Kane in 2015. With the win, he became the mandatory No.1 contender. He further damaged the rotator cuff just ahead of his original scheduled fight with Golovkin.